A Bolder Table started as a food blog in 2009. My goal was to compile my recipes in one place, and it’s evolved into a space where I express my thoughts on food, share recipes, talk about restaurants, and help promote my favorite local foodies.
When I started blogging, I had no idea I’d meet and marry a chef. After more than twenty years working in professional kitchens, Sean is making the leap to being a full time personal chef. We’re really excited to spend more time together, to stop eating dinner at 11:30pm after he returns home from work, and to help make other peoples’ lives easier and more delicious.
We’re now transitioning to a personal chef service, so our blog posts will soon migrate to the “blog” section. We’ll continue to fill them with easy to follow recipes and keep you updated on anything food-related we’re excited about here in Boulder and across the Front Range of Colorado. We’ll also keep you up to date on the delicious meals he’s making for some hungry locals.
We are happy to unveil our new personal chef services. Stay tuned for the updated website!
Megan & Sean
We had the honor and pleasure of cooking Thanksgiving again this year for a really great family.
I bought a local turkey as I did last year from Long Shadow Farm in Berthoud, CO. Unlike last year when I arrived at the farm to find a woman seated at a desk in the garage near a large refrigerator distributing chilled birds to anyone who had pre-ordered, this year I walked into a slaughtering/de-feathering/cleaning of turkeys small-scale processing line that I was not expecting at all. Our bird hadn’t even been chilled as she had been slaughtered just a few hours prior to pickup. Talk about having a real understanding of where our food comes from! I have that image seared into my memory… and will spare you the few photos I took.
We’re very fortunate to purchase such a quality turkey, so it’s extra important to me to serve it with all made from scratch accompaniments and sides.
I made the caramelized onion gravy base on Tuesday night. I’ve been making this gravy for more than ten years now, and each year I think it tastes better than the last. The butter and onions cooked low and slow for six hours. Six. Hours.
I started with a full pot and snapped a photo every couple of hours…
…until I couldn’t resist spooning it into my mouth.
Wednesday I made my pumpkin pie, but failed to snap a photo. I also made a cranberry sauce with roasted shallots and mandarin zest.
Thursday, Chef and I cooked the rest of the meal on site in their Boulder home. The beautiful bird went into the 325 degree oven after being rubbed with butter and herbs. She amazingly and somewhat surprisingly appeared done after just under two hours. That was a fast cooker!
I put together a wild rice stuffing while Sean made a sweet potato and chevre gratin, which has now become a Thanksgiving tradition for this family.
The ingredients in this dish are simply sinful- The health benefits of sweet potatoes are far outnumbered by the cheese and heavy cream combo. But, that’s what makes it so GOOD too!
While the gratin baked, Sean worked on maple glazed carrots in a cast iron skillet.
Next, he assembled green beans in shallot butter topped with fried shallots.
We added the pan juices to the gravy base, carved the bird,
And set up a small buffet for them.
We can’t wait until next year!
Sean and I had the honor and privilege of being flown down to Texas to cook for one of our clients. We’ve had the pleasure of cooking for them a number of times in Boulder, but never for their friends in Texas. After a brief discussion with the hostess, he planned a spring-themed menu. We had the interesting opportunity to shop in the enormous (which is an understatement) Whole Foods in Austin, drive out to a ranch about an hour away from the city, and experience the peacefulness of a Texas ranch during a few breaks in our marathon of a day.
We started with some h’ordeuvres: a cheese platter and smoked salmon toast points. I was in charge of the cheese platter and followed his directions on the smoked salmon toast points topped with chives and capers. These were ready for the guests upon arrival with a little bubbly to get the book club gals talking.
After a bit of nibbling and socializing, we steered our guests to the dining room for our first course: chilled pea soup with creme fraiche and mint.
Our second course was an arugula, endive, and grapefruit salad in a citrus vinaigrette.
Our entree was a citrus brined chicken breast on risotto with grilled asparagus and a citrus olive relish. I must declare- the chicken came out perfectly. I ate an entire portion and had to show serious restraint to not dive into a second.
Dessert was a pound cake (I made it!) topped with hand-whipped cream and the last jar of Sean’s Western Slope peaches in vanilla syrup that he had canned in Boulder last summer and brought with us to Texas.
In the end, we had a fantastic time working together, hanging with the homeowners, and staying the night deep in the heart of Texas. We can’t wait to do it again!
We’ve been (well, Sean’s been) buying habañeros from Two R’s Farm at the Boulder Farmers’ Market every week since they opened for the season in April. They’re a buck a piece and, though I don’t reach for them while cooking, Sean can’t get enough of them and uses little slivers in almost everything.
After my hiccup reflex from über-spicy, I do agree that they’re great peppers. Sean describes them as an intensely hot pepper with a tropical mango/pineapple undertone that, when coaxed out, make for a very flavorful HOT sauce.
So, we picked up six.
Next, he added the six habañeros, two medium sized tomatoes, 1/2 cup lime juice (freshly squeezed, of course), 1/4 cup white distilled vinegar, 1/4 cup water (or more as needed while blending), and honey to taste (he used approximately 1/4 cup of local Uncle Pete’s Honey).
And then… wait for it…
The Vitamix. The. Vitamix. The best decision I’ve ever made, besides dating Sean, was buying a Vitamix.
Sean pureed everything- peppers, tomatoes, lime juice, vinegar, honey, carrots, onion, and garlic until it was smooth and then poured it back into a pot to simmer for another five minutes.
He let it cool as we ate the dinner he had been preparing for us while making the hot sauce. Then, he filled some small jars and preserved them in a hot water bath.
There was a little left over, so we put it in the fridge, and I must say- by the next day I found this sauce to be really good. Don’t get me wrong- it’s hot as hell. But, as Sean says, it has an earthy sweetness from the carrots and a nicely balanced flavor you get from the sautéed veggies. It exudes a touch of tropical flavor in an incredibly hot sauce that’s toned down by the other ingredients, including a touch of local honey.
A little goes a long way, so, I think we’re all set on hot sauce here for a while.